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David De-Val, illusionist, on:
audience involvement

David De-Val I think the appeal of Houdini’s challenges were particularly that they came from the public. There were people in factories who I’ve spoken to, who said, "Oh, it was wonderful when we got together and we said: 'Let’s make up an escape, let’s make up a challenge for Houdini to escape from on Saturday night, Wednesday night, or whatever.'" So it was sort of almost like joining in. They joined in. He brought the public really onto the stage. All the other acts n England (Vesta Tilly, famous musical act), I mean, she didn’t invite people up on the stage. He made them feel important, I think. And [he made sure that] he beat them, of course, at the end.

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